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Harvest time is natural, healthy

Shirey’s blueberry patch in Linden, PA. You-pick for about two to three weeks every summer. Strawberries are across Rt 15

Until a hundred years ago, just about everyone in western civilization had some sort of garden and fruit trees. Growing your own food is as old as human agriculture, roughly ten thousand years. Maybe more. Point being, being self reliant and engaged with Nature in natural cycles is a healthy and natural thing for us to do today.
Our fruit trees have been ravaged by hordes of unnaturally over abundant squirrels this year. So far they have eaten all our cherries, all of our MacIntosh and Winesap apples, and two thirds of our peaches. None of the fruits were close to ripe, but to a verminous feral rodent, they are edible. It’s quite frustrating.
The garden is putting out regular vegetables now. Zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, herbs, butternut squash. A few groundhogs have tried to muscle in, and have found themselves in a very new and distant home.

The “Zen” and personal health of gardening is a well discussed subject, and all I can add is that I too find gardening greatly rewarding. Our produce is organic, natural, and the fruit of our own labors. We water daily and constantly fuss with the plants. We eat or can what we harvest. Very natural, and rewarding.
Last week I visited someone else’s garden, Shirey’s blueberry field in Linden, PA. In 45 minutes my bucket had 6.5 pounds of freshly ripe blueberries I myself had picked in the blazing sun. It was 99 degrees in the sun, and I had no more energy to stand in it picking fruit. On a cooler day I have picked roughly twelve pounds of berries, most of which go into blueberry jam I make. Some are eaten fresh, and some are frozen for eating with pancakes.
Being outside is healthy and necessary for all humans. Some sunshine is necessary for creating Vitamin D, critical to the function of our brain and body. Vitamin D is actually a hormone, and a deficiency is a big risk to your health. So being outside gardening, picking fruits and vegetables, cultivating and husbanding your own food, is essential to having a clear mind and a healthy body.
Sweet corn is coming soon.
Wildlife biologist Aldo Leopold said that he knew civilization had ended when people no longer had to split their own firewood to stay warm in the winter, and had only to rely on a tiny switch on the wall to achieve exactly the temperature they wanted. Hard work, self reliance, producing things of use and value, all add meaning to our lives. Growing and picking food is a small but important statement about not being historic roadkill. 

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